What It’s Like to Vote After Prison

This article profiles five formerly incarcerated individuals and their involvement with the 2016 election. Beyond voting, these individuals stress the importance of deep engagement in civic life. 

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Eduardo Cordero, 19, has spent most of the last five years in either juvenile hall or prison for gang-related felonies. Now that he’s out, he’ll be able to vote for the first time ever on November 8th. “I feel like I have some power and I have some voice,” he says. “I feel like my voice does count.” Cordero plans to cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton.

When it comes to voting rights, Cordero is one of the lucky ones. While California revokes the franchise for those in prison and on parole, the state allows people with felony convictions to vote while under county probation supervision and afterwards. But a dozen states—including Florida, Arizona and Nevada—restrict voting even after prison, parole or probation are completed. In these states, people like Cordero, once convicted, may face a waiting period of several years before being able to vote again or, in certain instances, are banned from voting indefinitely. Read more...